Schumer wants all-Senate meeting on healthcare

Keren Carrion

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants the entire Senate to meet next week to discuss healthcare as Democrats push the GOP to drop its effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.  

Schumer sent Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a letter on Friday asking for an all-senators meeting to talk about the GOP legislation, which hasn’t been finalized, adding that both parties “need to come together to find solutions to America’s challenges.” 
“Please accept our invitation to sit down together in the old Senate Chamber so we can hear your plans and discuss how to make health care more affordable and accessible,” Schumer wrote. 
Republicans have been negotiating their healthcare bill behind closed doors during policy lunches, as well as meetings convened by McConnell and involving roughly a dozen GOP senators. 
{mosads}No Democratic senator is expected to support the GOP bill, but Schumer argued that “we all owe it to our constituents to meet to discuss your potential legislation that would profoundly impact so many American lives.” 

“The U.S. Senate has long been considered the world’s greatest deliberative body and, as members of that body, we should each support open and robust debate. That is why we are dismayed at the reports that there will be no public hearings on your proposed changes to the American health care system,” he wrote. 

The invitation comes as Democrats step up their demands to see the GOP legislation before it comes to the Senate floor for a vote this summer. A vote could come before the July 4 recess.
Democrats introduced a bill earlier this week, which has little chance of passing, that would ban Republicans from bringing up their ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill without holding a hearing on the bill.
“Senate Republicans’ attempts to pass Trumpcare in the dark of night, without any transparency is one of the most egregious examples of legislative malpractice in decades,” Schumer said at the time. 
Republicans want to vote on their bill no later than the end of July, when they leave town until the fall. They have a narrow path to passing the legislation. With 52 seats, they can only afford to lose two GOP senators and let Vice President Pence break a tie. 
Asked if she could support the bill, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a moderate GOP senator and key vote, told reporters on Thursday that “I just truly do not know, because I don’t know where it’s going.” 
Tags Charles Schumer Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell
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